Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The Road to Heaven is Cleaned with Dysons

Life for pet owners holds few pleasures greater than possession of a really good vacuum cleaner.

After ten years my faithful old Dyson is starting to fall to pieces.  The Cowboy has fixed it a few times, extending its life for another two years, but the writing was on the wall a couple of weeks ago. It was time to buy a new vacuum.

The writing was mostly there because the hose on my old Dyson tore again (this is the third time) and the Cowboy is God knows where and has been for weeks now so there was no one to fix it.  I also have this Eureka someone gave me that just doesn't even hold a candle to my old Dyson, let alone a new one.

I got my tax return so I figured why not treat myself to a brand new Dyson?  Having researched and read up on the latest models, I discovered that their suction is even stronger than the old ones (and mine has never lost suction), and that they have these balls that apparently make them easier to maneuver (I love mine, but it is heavy and awkward to get around, especially with all the stairs in my house).

The thing about pets is that no matter how much I love them, I am actually allergic and their hair bothers me.  I vacuum at least every other day.  Willow is half Persian which means she has a cobby body, and while her hair is short, it's superfine and thick and gets into EVERYTHING - my clothes, my food, my nose.  I might have a Willow hair stuck perpetually in my nose.  I don't know, I keep sneezing.  Puckett sheds constantly because she doesn't bother to clean herself.  She lets Percy do it.  And Tess, being a German shepherd, just has that kind of fur.  She blows her coat twice a year, but she also sheds continuously, leaving piles of fur wherever she goes.  My animals are allowed to sleep at the foot of the bed or on the arms of the couch, but I can't have them right on top of me or on the pillow next to me.  There is one exception to this.  Percy has slept under the covers with me occasionally and he sometimes curls up against me while I watch TV on the couch.  His fur bothers me the least.  He grooms constantly and he has a different kind of fur than Puckett and Willow.  I think he might be part Russian Blue, a breed with a naturally hypoallergenic coat.

I ended up purchasing the Dyson Ball Multifloor.  I considered the Dyson Cinetic Big Ball but it was a little too pricey even for the comfort of owning a truly amazing vacuum cleaner.

No matter.  I'm quite happy with my purchase.  Now my old Dyson has awesome suction and it hasn't lost it over the years, but this new one packs a wallop.  I'd already vacuumed my bedroom once with the old one and went over the carpet again with my new one just to see what else I could suck up.

Within five minutes the canister was full of powdery dirt mixed with leftover baking soda.  There was also more dog hair and I thought I'd gotten all of it.  I have to say, I was officially grossed out.  If all that has been in my carpet over the years, then ew.

Also after much treatment with carpet cleaners and a pile of baking soda on the spot Willow decided to pee on, the new vacuum cleaner sucked all the nastiness out of there and it doesn't even smell.

Here I thought nothing can get rid of the stench of cat pee.  To be fair, I did dump lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, and two different carpet cleaners on it along with a box of baking soda, and then waited for all of it to dry in fresh air before running the vacuum over it.  Still, the result was impressive.

As an aside, for anyone who wants to get cat pee out of their carpet, here is what I discovered:  First I mixed water with carpet cleaner and soaked the pee spot.  Then I squirted lemon juice right over the spot.  I let it dry for a day.  Then I mixed water with dish detergent and hydrogen peroxide and poured that on the spot.  I let that soak for a day.  Then I dumped apple cider vinegar on the spot and added a box of baking soda.  By then the days had gotten nice and warm so I just propped my back door open and let the carpet air dry.  If the soiled carpet isn't near a window or door or it's the middle of winter, a fan can be used to help dry the spot.  Once everything was dry I vacuumed up the baking soda.

So it does take several days, but cat pee can be conquered.

I hope, anyway...

Back to the Dyson.  The wand is pretty amazing too.  I use the wand a lot because I have mostly hard floors now and it's easier to just suck up the loose hair with the wand.  I also use the flat attachment to run over Percy because he follows the vacuum cleaner around while I clean, waiting for his turn.  The new wand sucked up a plastic bag, the loose strands off an old piece of carpet Willow uses as a scratching pad, and it nearly sucked up the cat.  It stuck to him and I couldn't peel it off without shutting off the machine.

Percy was not amused.  The look of disgust on his face told me he preferred the old vacuum as it doesn't try to flay him alive.  This thing could pull the fur off a mink and probably turn it into a coat. I didn't even bother to suck Percy's tail into the wand like I sometimes do because for some reason he likes that too.  If I try that with the new wand, he probably won't get the tail back. I've sucked paws and ears in too just to get a reaction out of him and he purrs and rolls over.  I don't dare try that with this new vacuum.  I"m afraid I won't get my cat back.

And I really don't want to destroy my new vacuum by sucking an entire cat into it.  It wasn't the most expensive vacuum, but it still cost a pretty penny.  I imagine a cat might damage the mechanism.  Also, I don't think he'll fit in the canister.

I have to say it is a sad day for me when the highlight of my last couple of weeks is not drinks with pals on a Friday night; it's not a morning run with my dog in the park; it's not editing my novel; and it's not a fantastic date with some amazing guy.

Nope, the highlight of my last couple of weeks is buying a Dyson and then spending all morning vacuuming my floors.  Yes, and enjoying it too.

I think I might need Evan Marc Katz's help again.  Unfortunately, if I can't afford the Super Dyson I have no hope with his coaching fee.  I suppose the vacuum and I will be very happy together.

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